My Bio~Elyza Rodriguez (author)
I think I was born with a book in my hand!
From as far back as I can remember, reading books has played an important role in my life. Finding a "good" book has always been about the emotion journey. One of the first books I remember reading as a child was The Velveteen Rabbit. The idea of being made Real stuck with me. A journey through life is not supposed to be easily; it is supposed to be full of highs and lows, laughter and tears, and successes and failures. When a book has those things, one experiences life full-throttle alongside the characters in the story.
Quote from The Velveteen Rabbit (Goodreads,com)
'It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.”
― Margery Williams,
Reading is my life!
As I was growing up, my summers were spent at the public library, alternating between classics books, like Jane Eyre (my absolute favorite!), and "the others." Typically, those books fell into one of three categories: biographies, how to books (usually art-related), and Steven King. *I actually credit him with my fear of... well, basically everything (clowns, cats, teeth, small desert towns, airplanes, the dark, etc.).
One of the perks of being an elementary school teacher was the books. I could share my love of reading with future book lovers—if I had anything to say about it. 😉 A passion for books starts when a seed is planted as kids listen to parents and teachers read well-loved stories over and over; it is nurtured by interaction with quality reading materials.
Now, I am by no means a book snob. Maybe a long time ago... For me, if a book makes you feel something, care for someone other than yourself, if you learn something new, or are changed because that book has come into your life, then it is a good book.
Intro the Dystopian novel!
When I became a high school reading teacher, I read almost exclusively books that would hook the students in my classes. I loved YA novels because of the emotion, adventure, relationships, and ideas about how the world might look if the future caretakers of the world chose not to get involved. Some of my favorite YA novels are The Giver, Unwind, I am Number Four, The Hunger Games, Divergent, An Abundance of Katherines, and Eleanor and Park. Honestly, I could spend the day listing books I love, in many different genres.
The point is, in any genre, you will find great books—and not so great books.
Just like the Velveteen Rabbit, I am on my way to becoming. Writing is one of the experiences I needed to have. As an avid reader, I know which qualities comprise books I love reading. So, I challenged myself to write the book I wanted to read.
I began my journey as a writer of YA dystopian fiction at the start of this year. Getting the first thousand words on paper was the toughest. When I hit five thousand words, I was speechless. Now, I have passed the forty-five thousand mark and the end is in sight.
The best part is that I love my book, and my characters, and their flaws.
The journey is what makes you Real.
I'd love to hear from you! When have you tried something that made you feel Real? How did it work out?